Saturday, 11 July 2015

Closer & Fitness Update - FB30 4 weeks in / Powerblock Sport 2.4 mini-review!

Tea on the Tyne in Closer magazine talking vegan weight loss


A super-exciting thing happened the other week... I was featured on Closer Online!

The lovely folks at PETA UK contacted me a little while ago about my weight loss story and I was of course happy to help spread the vegan message and how a plant-based diet can benefit our health and our waistlines. Me and two other lovely vegan ladies were included and they even featured some of our favourite recipes - go and check the article out here if you're that way inclined!



I mentioned about a month back that I was starting out Fitness Blender's Eight Week Fat Loss Challenge for Busy People - aka FB30. I'm now four weeks into the programme somehow (?!) so I thought I'd check in and give you an update in case you're thinking of giving it a go for yourselves.

If you're completely new to Fitness Blender, the team are husband and wife, Daniel and Kelli, they're qualified trainers who make workout videos on YouTube. They have over 400 videos, so for people who feel a little intimidated by just what videos to pick, or who just want to be told what to work on what day by someone who actually knows what they're doing, they also make workout programmes which instruct you on which videos to complete each day.

Gratuitous workout selfie!

FB30 is one of these programmes, it's an eight week challenge designed to help you lose fat and build lean muscle in under 30 minutes a day, so it's perfect for people who work full time or have a really busy schedule - everyone can find 30 minutes in their day to exercise. EVERYONE. Even you.

The workout programmes are not free - the one I'm doing cost $9.99 which is about £6. Let me assure you that this programme is worth waaaaay more than £6. I have seen other online workout programmes which are £100+, and don't forget, all of the videos are free, so once you've paid your £6, you're set and good to go.

The workouts themselves vary each day so you never get bored and neither do your muscles. Broadly speaking they are a combination of high intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio and strength training. You need very little equipment - a basic workout mat and a set of dumbbells will cover off most things but the workouts also include kettlebells so it would be handy to pick up a set.

Here's what I'm using at the moment, none of these links are sponsored, this is genuinely the equipment I'm using for those who are interested:

  • Workout mat (you can of course use a yoga mat or a thinner mat than this, but there are quite a few moves in which you have to prop yourself up on the elbows and this helps cushion those bad boys)
  • Kettlebell set (unfortunately not available any more but to give you an idea of the kinds of weights I'm using - these set me back about £20)
  • Powerblock Sport 2.4 adjustable dumbbells - my one extravagance! I'm not going to lie, these were expensive, but I love them. 
Powerblock Sport 2.4

Powerblock Sport 2.4

They are adjustable between 1.5kg, 2.5kg, 4kg, 5.5kg, 7kg, 8kg, 9.5kg and 11kg per hand so not only have they replaced five other pairs of weights I had in the house, but they have also given me more weight options so I get so much out of them. They're also much quicker to use on the routines where I might be going from something like a weighted lunge to a deadlift - I would lift way heavier on a deadlift than any other move, so I'd always have to pause the video whilst I added more weight to my dumbbell which took ages and put me off my stride. With these, I can select a weight in seconds and carry on with the rest of the video. The colours on the side match the key on the top so you choose what weight you want, adjust the little handle on the side to select the colour bar which matches the weight you want, and go!

In terms of weight loss I have fluctuated throughout the four weeks. I've gone up and down by a few pounds and ended up back at the same weight I was when I started, but my body composition has already begun to change. My shoulders and arms are much stronger and more defined, my waist, thighs and hips are all trimmer and firmer, and my bootayyy has been lifted and toned. Aside from this my stamina has improved, my mood has improved (the mental health benefits of exercise cannot be overstated), I recover quicker and I sleep better.

What's most surprising to me is that I genuinely have never missed a work out because I actually look forward to them now. No matter how busy or stressful life can be during the day, I know I have that 30 minutes when I'm working out and I can forget about everything else and just focus on me, and that keeps me going. I can't wait to see what happens in another four weeks!

Emily x
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